BERKELEY - Thirteenth-ranked Cal remained undefeated early in the dual-meet season by besting the Pacific Tigers, 5-2, on Saturday at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Golden Bears (3-0) won the doubles point and went 4-2 in singles against the Tigers (3-2).
This was Cal's first match since coming from behind to beat No. 20 Michigan on Jan. 26 to qualify for the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships.
"Coming out after that Michigan match, we played very composed in doubles," Cal head coach Peter Wright said. "And we're missing Christoffer Konigsfeldt, who's out because he's playing in the Davis Cup for Denmark. Doubles gave us the momentum going into singles. Our last outing was a really challenging one. We knew UOP was a strong team, and we knew we had to play well today. I was impressed with our resiliency in coming back after that Michigan match. We were pretty physical today, and I was impressed with that as well."
Cal opened the day well, as the seventh-ranked doubles team of junior Ben McLachlan and senior Riki McLachlan quickly beat Pacific's Alex Golding and Sam Verbeek, 8-1, on court one. Cal junior Campbell Johnson and freshman Mads Engsted followed suit on court two with an 8-3 win over Denis Stolyarov and Trevor James. With the doubles point decided, the court-three match between the Cal duo of sophomore Chase Melton and freshman Wyatt Houghton and the Tiger team of Alex Hamilton and Daniel Alameh did not finish.
In singles, Ben McLachlan continued his momentum with a win against Golding, 6-3, 6-3, on court one, followed by Engsted's 6-0, 6-3, victory over Alameh on court five. The Bears suffered their first loss on the day when Melton fell to Stolyarov, 6-2, 6-2, on court six. At that point, Cal led in the match, 3-1.
Johnson clinched the match when he knocked off Pacific's Ben Mirkin, 6-3, 6-4, on court two to give Cal a 4-1 lead. Riki McLachlan went on to defeat Hamilton, 6-4, 6-4, on court five and sophomore Gregory Bayane fell to Verbeek, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(7), on court three to complete the match and give the Bears their 5-2 victory.
Cal travels to Los Angeles to play its next two Pac-12 meets, taking on No. 2 USC on Feb. 8 and No. 3 UCLA on Feb. 9.
No. 13 Cal 5, Pacific 2
Feb. 2 in Berkeley
Hellman Tennis Complex
1: B. McLachlan/R. McLachlan defeated Golding/Verbeek - 8-1
2: Johnson/Engsted defeated Stoyaro/James - 8-3
3: Houghton/Melton vs. Hamilton/Alameh - DNF
(Cal wins the doubles point)
1: B. McLachlan defeated Golding - 6-3, 6-3
2: Johnson defeated Mirkin - 6-3, 6-4
3: Bayane lost to Verbeek, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(7)
4: R. McLachlan defeated Hamilton - 6-4, 6-4
5: Engsted defeated Alameh - 6-0, 6-3
6: Melton lost to Stolyarov - 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 6, 2, 4, 3
Match Length: 2:27